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Vargish's View: Colorado Springs Switchbacks Host Tulsa In Midsummer Clash

By Roland Vargish, 07/10/19, 11:30AM MDT


It’s Movie Night at Weidner Field this Saturday evening as the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC host the Tulsa Roughnecks FC in a USL Championship clash.  The Better Business Bureau will be sponsoring the third part of the poster giveaway series for the first 500 fans in attendance at Weidner Field, with tickets for Saturday’s clash available HERE.  

The Roughnecks shored up their defense in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers 2 after a brutal stretch from June 7th to the 29th saw Head Coach Michael Nsien’s men outscored 16-1 in four consecutive defeats.  Brazilian Luca Lobo leads Tulsa’s goal-charts in the 2019 USL Championship with seven – just a single goal above countryman Rodrigo da Costa.  Portuguese hitman Janu Silva has five goals to his name, while Honduran Cristhian Altamirano has scored four times.  

“Tulsa were unlucky on the road against Portland,” said Switchbacks Interim Head Coach Wolde Harris.  “They’re a dangerous team and they present a lot of challenges for us. We need to be solid defensively and transfer the things we’ve been working on into the game.  Building on the positivity from last week is important and we’ll need to stay disciplined against a good team.”

Former Switchbacks Tobenna Uzo and AJ Ajeakwa have both been held scoreless this season for the Roughnecks, with Ajeakwa making 11 appearances in the USL Championship, while Uzo has come off the bench 7 times for Tulsa this season.  Tulsa’s Haitian defender Fredlin Mompremier was sent off in the 96th minute against the Timbers 2 and will be unavailable against the Switchbacks on Saturday.  After picking up his second yellow card of the match, midfielder Brayan Reyes was also sent off in stoppage time against T2, and he too will miss Saturday’s match at Weidner Field. 

Mason Stajduhar, who is on-loan from Orlando City SC of Major League Soccer, kept a clean sheet against the Switchbacks on April 24th at ONEOK Field in Tulsa, as the Roughnecks ended the game 2-0 winners.  Stajduhar started in the Roughnecks’ 1-1 draw against the Portland Timbers 2 last Saturday at Providence Park in the Rose City.  Rio de Janeiro native Rodrigo da Costa notched a second half brace against the Switchbacks in the Roughnecks’ aforementioned win in April.

Rony Argueta scored a superb goal to give the Switchbacks the lead just after halftime last Thursday against Orange County SC, before OC recovered to win 2-1 at Weidner Field on Independence Day in front of a record crowd.  “We’ve been training well,” said Argueta on Tuesday afternoon at the Pride Soccer complex in eastern Colorado Springs. “We’re looking to build off what we did well in the game against OC where we were good in the attack, but we’ve got to be more clinical in front of goal.  Our final product has to improve and we need to find a way to get the ball in the net when we have good chances. We’ve been getting a lot of information in training and we need to take it into Saturday and get a result.”

“There’s no secret formula for us right now – we’re having our growing pains and we just have to keep working to get more disciplined,” said Shane Malcolm.  “Nothing is promised. We all need to play our role and build off each other.”

Former Air Force Academy Falcons Tucker Bone and Austin Dewing were introduced as second half substitutes against Orange County on Independence Day, with both impressing Interim Head Coach Wolde Harris.  “They added energy and they reacted really well,” said Harris. “They did what we wanted and needed. They both have a really good work ethic and we’re just looking right now to slowly integrate them into the team.  Both had good opportunities to score last week and they gave us something in the attack.”

719 Day Brewfest returns to Weidner Field on July 19th, and tickets can be purchased HERE.  The Switchbacks will finish their three-game home stand on July 20th against the Oklahoma City Energy FC on Margaritaville, with a pre-game free jersey T Shirt giveaway courtesy of Weidner Apartment Homes.  Tickets are available HERE.  

“I think the crowd last week was phenomenal – hopefully we see Colorado Springs in big numbers at Weidner Field on Saturday,” said Interim Head Coach Wolde Harris.  Independence Day saw an all-time record crowd at Weidner Field last Thursday evening. “We’re looking forward to another big crowd being behind us on Saturday.”